Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Westbury College, Westbury on Trym
Westbury College,
College Road,
Westbury on Trym, Gloucestershire.


We don't know whether this Church had a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1285, but we understand it was closed in 1544.

Kelly's Directory of 1897 records that a College dedicated to Holy Trinity was founded in Westbury on Trym in 1288 by Bishop Giffard, and "among the earliest foundations of this kind in England". It was built on the site of the Benedictine priory of St Mary, a cell of the Abbey at Worcester, and was rebuilt by W [William] Cannyngs in the reign of Edward IV. "The college formed an extensive pile of buildings, covering a large area of ground; and, besides its valuable possessions, was assisted by rich endowments and benefactions".

It was a flourishing collegiate body in the time of Wycliffe, who was himself prebendary of Aust-on-the-Severn, a place under the ecclesiastical control of Westbury College. At its dissolution in the reign of Henry VIII. there was a dean and five canons, and yearly revenues estimated at £232. During the Civil War the buildings of the college were almost completely demolished; but some remains have survived - principally a massive square tower, and a small round tower, now forming part of a modern structure, which occupies the place of the old college and retains its name.

The British Listed Buildings website records remains of Westbury College under two headings - "College House", and "Turret and Boundary Wall". The House was built in 1709 from the ruins remaining after the destruction in 1643, and the Turret formed the north-west corner of a quadrangular layout, which was later adopted in contemporary Oxford. Originally it had 4 corner turrets. One other survives attached to the Gatehouse to College House.

See also the Victoria County History series: A History of the County of Gloucester, Volume 2: Religious houses, including Early History of Gloucester Cathedral (1907), pp.106-108 (College: Westbury-on-Trym). The latter surmises that the college's foundation can be traced to a monastery founded about 716 - it was most probably a place of residence for a number of priests who lived their life in common, but were not under monastic vows". Then "soon after his consecration Oswald, bishop of Worcester (961-992), determined to introduce the strict observance of the Benedictine rule into his diocese. He sent to Fleury for an English monk named Germanus, and appointed him prior of a new foundation at Westbury, which became the centre of the Benedictine revival in Mercia". Bishop Giffard, cited by Kelly, and elsewhere as the founder of the College, is credited with "an increase in the number of prebendaries at Westbury, and a corresponding provision for them", whilst "Bishop Carpenter (1444-76) was regarded as a second founder of the college of Westbury, which he dedicated to the Holy Trinity".

The VCH account provides a list of Deans at the College for the period beginning around the time of Giffard's foundation with Stephen, in 1285 - and ending with John Barlow, 1530-44.


Now or formerly Benedictine.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church was located at OS grid reference ST5725177468. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Westbury on Trym, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 30 Dec 2014 at 11:00.

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This Report was created 5 Jul 2022 - 17:09:26 BST from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

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